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Boeing 777 Pilot Dies During Flight

 
 
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 09:55 am

(CNN) -- A captain on a Continental jet died Thursday midflight while flying from Brussels, Belgium, to Newark, New Jersey, the Federal Aviation Administration and Continental Airlines said.

Continental said the 61-year-old Newark-based pilot died "apparently of natural causes." The pilot had 21 years of service with Continental, the airline said.

FAA spokeswoman Arlene Salac said Continental Flight 61 would receive priority when it arrives at Newark International Airport around noon ET.

The airline said the crew on the flight included an additional relief pilot who took the place of the deceased man.

The Boeing 777 is carrying 247 passengers, Continental said.

Further details were not immediately available.
http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/06/18/pilot.dead/index.html
 
Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 11:12 am

CNN) -- Continental Flight 61, whose pilot died Thursday while flying from Brussels, Belgium, to Newark, New Jersey, has landed safely, the Federal Aviation Administration and Continental Airlines said.

The Boeing 777 landed at Newark International Airport at 11:49 a.m. ET Thursday, the airline said, after the 60-year-old Newark-based pilot died "apparently of natural causes."

The airline said the crew on the flight included an additional relief pilot who took the place of the deceased man, and "the flight continued safely with two pilots at the controls."

Asked whether the plane's 247 passengers had been told of the situation, a Continental spokesman said only that the plane had arrived safely.

Passengers told CNN that they were not told, and only that an announcement for a doctor was made during the flight.
http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/06/18/pilot.dead/index.html
0 Replies
 
Gargamel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 11:16 am
So, uh, how many of these flights have relief pilots on them?
Region Philbis
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 11:28 am
@Gargamel,

guessing all of 'em, from here on out...
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 11:39 am
@Region Philbis,
My understanding is that they all have a pilot and co-pilot. Am I wrong?
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 11:47 am

Was it the food ?
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 12:21 pm
@Gargamel,
Gargamel wrote:

So, uh, how many of these flights have relief pilots on them?


Perhaps just some intercontinental flights?


Must be a déja vue for some ...
Continental pilot collapses inflight, later dies
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 12:25 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Wow. So this is the second time in just a couple of years. Kind of risky being a pilot for Continental, isn't it? Maybe there's something in what David asked.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 12:46 pm
@Region Philbis,
No big deal as there is always a co-pilot at the very least and those planes can even land on auto-pilot on top of that.

Would not be all that surprise if the plane could be place on auto-pilot from the ground if need be.

The space shuttle normally land completely on auto-pilot with the only remaining task let for the highly train crew under normal conditions is to lower the wheels and that even could be done under ground control but something need to be let to the crew.

It used to be that the shuttle crew got to apply the brakes but they was overdoing it and wearing out the tires so that task was turn over to the computers.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 01:38 pm
All the new airliners are fly by wire IE fly by computers with the crew entering in commands to the computers and the computers controlling the plane.

Boeing allow the pilots to override limits on control actions that might place too must stress on the airframe but air bus give the final word to the computer software not the pilots in what is allow and is not allow.

It look at worst that if all the pilots drop death at once all you would need would be someone on board that could turn on a few switches under the direction of ground control and the plane and it computers would cheerfully fly the plane to the airport and land itself.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread152826/pg1





A Boeing 777 is capable of landing very safely on autopilot even in zero visibility but it is not currently authorized. Why? The cost of maintaining the ground equipment is prohibitive and so the authorities reduced the criteria from zero visibility to 100 meters as the absolute minimum to land at the present time. These lower criteria also reduce the maintenance costs as imposed by the aviation authorities. This would have opened many Airports that would otherwise be shut down.

The Instrument Landing System (ILS) provides a very accurate and safe guidance for an airplane to land on a runway in any weather conditions. It positions the airplane very precisely to land safely in the most adverse situations where a pilot would have great difficulty doing so. Bearing in mind that, about 75 percent of accidents are due to human errors and the landing phase is one of the most critical parts of a flight, air crashes have been reduced considerably when the ILS was introduced. An ILS can be flown manually or by coupling it to an autopilot, or to put it simply, let the computers fly the plane! Humans can never beat a machine and so, if a pilot wishes to manually fly the ILS to hone his flying skills, he is restricted to fly to a minimum of 200 feet above ground level and a visibility of 550 meters. Beyond that, he must seek the help of the machine! In other words, the airplane must be auto landed with the help of computers.

What happens when the computers fail at the critical moment? So, you still need human beings to save the day! Pilots are the back ups to machines. Hence, aircrew must undergo a thorough course in order to perform this task.

An auto landing process is achieved by an autopilot together with a flight director system. As the name suggests, the flight director directs where the plane go when the pilot or autopilot intend it to. To fly an ILS, the flight director would guide the airplane to land on a correct profile and towards the centerline of the runway by means of ground signals. In order to land safely, the airplane requires external feedbacks from the aerodrome.

Now we have a good Boeing 777 with auto landing capability, a qualified and competent pilot and the third link must now be excellent aerodrome facilities. Indeed, the maintenance of the aerodrome must be very high and comply with ICAO standards. What happens when the airplane is locked onto the signals on final landing in fog and there was a power failure on the ground? ICAO requires the back-up power with switchover time be not more than one second for all the critical electrical lightings.

Prior to an auto landing procedure, the Captain would give his copilot a very thorough briefing from how many minutes he has left before he commences a diversion to the procedures on what action to take if a pilot suffers a heart attack prior to landing. So every emergency is covered and nothing is left unprepared.

Assuming the Boeing 777 has now captured or locked onto the ILS at 2500 feet, the copilot would call out various stipulated heights to remind each other of the progress of the approach. The callouts would be at 2000, 1500, 1000, 500, 200 or (alert height) and decision height of 20 feet. The Captain must respond to all height checks and there are pre-planned actions, for instance when some responses are not forthcoming. If the Captain does not respond to a callout of the height-checks from 500 to 200 feet, the copilot would assume that his Captain has lost consciousness due to a heart attack or any incapacitation, then take over control and abort the landing. Why is it so? He is too close to the ground to find out! Ask questions later when he has safely aborted the landing! He is fully competent to do so because the copilot is checked every six month on this drill.

The auto landing procedure is executed automatically but the Captain still have to intervene to reduce speeds as the flaps are selected from 0, 1, 5, 20 and then to 30. At any time an emergency crops up, each pilot knows what to do because they have been covered during the briefing. Below 200 feet above ground level, the computers would ignore non-critical emergencies because pilots should not be disturbed at this very crucial phase of the landing.

At 50 feet, the autopilot flares the airplane, a term to describe how it would raise the nose slightly to prepare for a soft landing. The computer would call out aurally the heights every 10 feet and then at around 25 feet, the throttles are closed. At this point, the airplane should sit onto the runway gently and roll along the centerline until it comes to a complete stop by the auto brakes with the pilot aiding it further with reverse thrusts. You are now safely landed! If the Captain is unable to see the taxiway because the visibility has further reduced, he may request a ‘Follow Me’ vehicle to guide the pilot to its parking bay.



However, all that being said, at most major airports in North America, when you see a newer airliner coming in for a landing it is a computer landing that plane with the pilot and copilot (no more navigators in most planes these days) paying attention and being ready to engage reverse thrusters after wheels down, or in the rare case take over for an aborted landing. It's also a computer that flies the plane at takeoff. Human error was, and still is, the number one cause of all crashes (over 50%), and the new generation autopilot has reduced takeoff and landing mishaps dramatically.

dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 01:40 pm
@Region Philbis,
This is what I hate about some of the regional flights I have to make.


ONE PILOT!!!!
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 01:46 pm
@dlowan,
Really, only one pilot? On regular, commercial flights?
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 02:02 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Nonsense no plane fly with only one pilot on regular schedule commercial flights and that include the small connecting airlines.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 02:13 pm
News once more making a big deal over nothing at all.


http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/06/18/pilot.dead/index.html


CNN) -- Continental Flight 61, whose pilot died Thursday while flying from Brussels, Belgium, to Newark, New Jersey, has landed safely, the Federal Aviation Administration and Continental Airlines said.


A New York and New Jersey Port Authority spokesman said the plane landed without any problem.

1 of 2 The Boeing 777 landed at Newark International Airport at 11:49 a.m. ET Thursday, the airline said, after the 60-year-old Newark-based pilot died "apparently of natural causes."

The airline said the crew on the flight included an additional relief pilot who took the place of the deceased man, and "the flight continued safely with two pilots at the controls."

Asked whether the plane's 247 passengers had been told of the situation, a Continental spokesman said only that the plane had arrived safely.

Passengers told CNN that they were not told, and only that an announcement for a doctor was made during the flight. Watch a report about airline procedures »

"I haven't heard anything." passenger Chris Balchuas, from Houston, Texas, told reporters. "They just said there was a medical emergency and were there any doctors aboard."

After being told what had happened, he said, "Oh, that's scary. I didn't know anything about that."

He said nothing was unusual about the flight, just that about "four or five fire trucks and a whole bunch of medical emergency teams" met the plane when it landed. Watch emergency vehicles respond »

Another passenger, Dr. Julien Struyzen, says he responded to the announcement requesting a doctor and pronounced the pilot dead.

"He was clinically dead when I came in," Struyzen said. Flight personnel asked him if anything was possible and he said "it was not."

He did not give additional details.

Struyzen said all flight personnel were "very professional." Watch the doctor talk about his experience »

Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the New York and New Jersey Port Authority, said the FAA told Newark airport officials to have emergency crews standing by for the landing.

The plane landed without any problem, he said, and a medical examiner met the plane to help handle the situation.

The pilot had 32 years of service with Continental, the airline said.
E-mail to a friend
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 02:53 pm
Maybe he had the fish for dinner.

http://z.hubpages.com/u/34615_f520.jpg

"I just want to say good luck, we're all counting on you."
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 03:07 pm
@BillRM,
I used to fly all around the Appalachians on two now-funct airlines , PIEDMONT and ALTAIR. Often the guy that took your tickets and your baggage, was also the pilot. Also, On most corporate jets that Ive flown on theres only one pilot and some of those planes are fast little bastids.I used to enjoy sitting up in the copilot seat and keep an eye on the weather radar whenever we were flying in the midwest and west.

Oh yeh, do they bury you at sea if you die in a plane?
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 03:55 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Very SMALL regular commercial flights.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 04:12 pm
@dlowan,
I'm near positive I've been on small commuter flights with only one pilot, but .. not completely positive.
Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 04:17 pm
@ossobuco,

puddle-jumpers... yes...
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 04:25 pm
@farmerman,
I was very careful to say schedule airline flights Farmerman not corporate jets. Still with the cost of such jets and fairly important people flying in them I am surprise that firms would cut safety margins by saving the fairly small cost of having a backup pilot. Hell I am surprise that the insurance companies would allow that no matter what the FAA rules are.

Now are you claiming that on the two small airlines you name with the pilot collecting the tickets that there was not two pilots in front of the plane?

I had been on such small planes myself and there had always been two pilots in front. I remember that they tend to fly so low that I entrained myself by picking out possible landing areas.
0 Replies
 
 

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